Category Archives: Retirement

You are the author of your life, what will YOU make it about?

During my life I have done a mixture of all of those, some I am glad I did or did not, some I wish I hadn’t and some I didn’t even try.

But “That’s life ”  as the song made famous by Frank Sinatra goes.

And what a life.. would I change anything??? Well, somethings but all of that is with hindsight which is a wonderful thing!  Haha.

still-life-3126536_640

When I think back my dad was a strict disciplinarian but was that a bad thing? No… really my mum countered that by just being our mum. She made all of our clothes taught us to knit, sew and cook and she loved us…

I remember walking for miles over fields to see my nan my grandad was a farmer I loved it there and spent weekends, school holidays and this was at 9/10 years old, we had no phones so at some point my mum would get a call from a phone box to say I was ok but didn’t know when I was coming home. But it was safe to do that then, I could walk for miles and see no one or maybe just one person who invariably knew who I was, knew where I was going and or gave me a drink of water.

How I loved it there, I got to wander around the farm ( with the strictest instructions ) from my granddad of where I could wander and where I could not. I learnt to milk a cow and had great fun in the haylofts and at harvest time. My Nan showed me how to cook on an Aga. So between my nan and my mum, I think that’s where I got my love of cooking.

My other nan lived but  5 mins away and had a lovely piano….so most days after school I would wander up the road to see her and get to play the piano…I loved that piano and one day maybe I’ll get to tinkle those ivories again. But I have special memories of both my Nan’s.

I was a choir girl.. yes folks and I won’t treat you to a rendering on the karaoke. Church every Sunday and at Easter, we got our new Sunday best… We also always had shiny shoes…

Carol, Tina and Fay

I hated frills, bows and dolls!

Dolls I hated them and fringes…. every time we had our hair washed owwww did it hurt when mum got the tangles out..well.. she obviously had enough so took us all for a haircut with a fringe….not for long…madam here.. me…hands up…got a pair of scissors and cut it off. That solved that  It also got me an early to bed with no tea…well, mum snuck up a sandwich a bit later……

My sisters would walk neighbours babies up and down, up and down the street…awwww my worst nightmare,  my favourite was climbing the big oak tree on the village green, except when I climbed it in the NEW pink spotted dress my mum had made me and ripped it… she didn’t get cross often, but I think she made an exception then..oops.

I remember the day I got a bloody nose.. well I did aggravate this boy ..but no need for that.. did my dad jump to his daughter’s defence…..don’t be silly…he asked what I did to deserve it…

AND not a calculator, phone or computer in sight……in fact, I didn’t know anyone who had one!

Camping..I loved camping in the garden…a blanket over the clothesline…which had been lowered made a great tent and we giggled all night long….

Reading under the bed-clothes with a torch…Dennis Wheatley being one of my favourites.

Young Carol.jpg

I remember when the circus came to town how we all loved the clowns on stilts and all our dad’s making us  ” stilts ” …..did we have fun and spills on them that summer holiday… the snow when it came then dad made us sledges made from doors and trays…I remember our hands and legs were red raw and freezing then the pain when we thawed out in front of the roaring fire but the crumpets toasted on the fire and chestnuts in the embers. Made up for that… Love crumpets get the recipe here.

That peeps is a deprived childhood with no computers and games well except for snakes and ladders, ludo, hangman and noughts and crosses.  Oh and Jacks and I bet I could still beat you at that! Hopscotch! the downside was we had to clean the chalk marks off the pavement…

hop scotch

Well, that’s my childhood but I look back and don’t think it was a bad one I think I learned a lot…..How to love, laugh, cook,, earn respect it was not a given.

The computers came later, very much later so a whizz kid on them I am not but also I am not that bad so all in all.

Childhood over and as I started off in life having been bought up being told ” girls just get married and have children”

I did!

After going to college and training as a hairdresser……I never practised as a hairdresser ..just did my mums and friends hairs…I have always been fussy about my hair though I suppose it left me with that legacy. I have even been known to put anything even a carrier bag over my hair if a drop of rain threatened..just so long as not a hair got wet..the only time it got wet was when I visited the hairdressers and they always said I was their only customer who came to the salon to get my hair done who never looked as if it needed doing. I was fanatical even down to the fact that when on holiday…… The first place I ever checked out was the location of the hair salon!

I must have been a nightmare!

Now it’s short and I only go to get it cut and if it gets wet it gets wet…so I have chilled out somewhat in my later years.

Now I look back and think we did rather well… as our children have wonderfully bought up children of their own who are polite, work hard at school and the ones who do work have very good careers….so all in all…..not a bad life……….and when I look forward I am excited about what is to come……Because I have found new hobbies and interests that I can devote more time to…so all in all, life is like a carousel and if we can dream we can do it………hence the title of my blog…….

retirement

In fact, I am wishing I was a tad younger and have more time for what I need to do…..but that’s life…..take it by the horns and live it……xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

A Fifties Child

me and mum & dad 1952 001

Born in the early 50’s, one of 3 and the oldest we had no Tv or phone we played out until dark and sometimes we were out all day playing in the woods, making camps…I was definitely not one of those girls who played with dolls and pushed someone else’s baby up and down the street..for fun! Really…I was  a tom boy…one of my earliest memories was this pink spotted dress my mum made me…she made all our clothes and I remember that when the elbows of our cardigans or jumpers wore thin my mum unpicked the sleeves and changed them over so the darned patch was in the crook of our elbow.

I also remember climbing the big old Oak tree in the middle of the green and catching the said pink dress and tore it! Girls then did not wear trousers only skirts and dresses.

We made tents in the garden by slinging a blanket over the clothes line…..Played how high can you jump with a pole on two sticks…until my dad shouted at us as we made a bare patch on his lawn. I remember playing jacks and hopscotch on the pavement( we then) had to clean every bit of the chalk of the pavement when we had finished playing.

Collecting the empty bottles and taking them back to get a penny and how many sweets could you get for a penny?

I remember moaning like hell when my mum combed my hair after washing it and the rags she put in so we had ringlets( and how they hurt to sleep in). I also remember her taking us to the hairdressers as she was fed up with moans and me getting this fringe…..I promptly got the scissors out when I got home and cut it off..stating I don’t have a fringe now.

I also remember how much I used to write for homework..pages and pages..my teachers must have groaned..not half a page for me. When I got the ” A” my mum would say very nice dear…my dad..not much…he thought girls just got married and had kids.

Our first TV…..Took pride of place in the parlour ..the best room..the one we only used on high days and holidays or when people visited.

Most of my friends wanted to be teachers, hairdressers, nurse, shop assistants ..none wanted to be a pop star or celebrity.

But we were happy! Why?

Ask yourself?

So true to life…I got married, had the kids..blah blah blah

Then I retired..…went to Thailand….joined Phuket Writers and wow…….. An anthology, a novel in the pipeline, writing for a New York website, a collaboration with Sally from Smorgasbord Health 2017  so much to do and who knows how much time….I am having fun on this ride and do not want to get off….

And all because this child of the fifties had a dream.

So I believe if you dare to dream…then you can!

Thai boys in tree

I see that happiness in the faces of the village children here..who have very little…the boys ..a bike, they fish..a stick with a cord, they run, they climb trees, they laugh..why?

 I hope at least one of them has a dream!
Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as you know it is good for you… and have fun x

Things to do today: 1. Get Up… 2. Survive…..3……. Go to bed!

Well that’s my day sorted!

So I stretched, opened my eyes….sun shining through the window…reached for my little silky number that I put on in the morning…must have slipped to the floor…..picked it up, put it on…and it slipped slowly straight off……no straps….and there they were beautifully displayed on the floor.!

Saang Chai!  I got this sleepy one-eyed look and then it dawned on him..he crept to my feet, literally doing that slidey movement dogs do when they know they shouldn’t have and gave me the baby browns…morning mum..love you….I wonder methinks that on Monday whether he will tell the whole truth and nothing but?…..Just licked it my arsss……..

Soi dogs_street dogs-Saanchai

Pretending to be asleep with one ear cocked

He is now snoozing at my feet now without a care in the world..

Today I am sorting out my e-mail and my media …and of course WP reader…

Because guys I do read your blogs, well most of them ..like everyone the odd blog is not for you..but I do read most and they are great…I have met some wonderful people….and some not so ……I like happy blogs..blogs that help me, blogs that teach me something I didn’t know…blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry and realise how lucky I am……

So why am I lucky?? I have wonderful children and grand children who I love with a passion….I live in Paradise……except for the ANTS who are the bane of my life ..I have had pest control who are probably wishing I had never signed that contract..the odd scorpion..Scary the daughter in law just wacked it…HARD…

Spiders galore…..gekos and lizards..they are ok….beautiful butterflies and birds and fish and the pesky termites who were eating my kitchen cupboards…ha ha but not any more..thanks to pest control..they got that bit right..but to be fair we do have lots of ants…oh and the odd Cobra or two….and it’s warm..we get spectacular storms……and POWER CUTS……The electric is the worst..cables everywhere..and just a drop of rain and of it goes…tomorrow it’s  off 9-4..

How do I know that as all the announcements are in Thai……but this one ..they must have listened to me was in the paper!

So tomorrow….sun allowing, it will have to be the beach folks …. That OF COURSE was  10521879_10152472184109865_5630515386234439606_nSAM_6522SAM_5120.

Then and this is now I have swapped the beach for rural Thailand so it is lakes and waterfalls… and water buffaloes…

Water Buffalo- Red Lotus Lake

But today…I am also pickling onions……

Onions- pickled-home cooked-from scratch

Home made pickled Onions

Pickled Onions:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Let’s get Pickled:

Firstly drain the onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Enjoy!

Well  that’s me…. done the first two…bit early for bed…well maybe a siesta…….and then a sundowner x

I hope you enjoyed this revamped earlier post..One of my first…Sorting my media out …Headache and all my fault…

Until next time have a lovely day xxx

About Carol:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I cook with have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading xx

 

 

 

 

Wow I got an award!

Well actually two but haven’t got round to the second one yet! The hardest part is not picking other great blogs but thinking of interesting, profound and witty facts about me!

Oh please..I am just a happy retiree who loves her kids and grandkids with a passion..do a bit of cooking…like a drop or three of vino…….love proper chocolate…..hate it when people ” dig ” yes “dig the butter out pleasssse scrape it nicely……..

Really think Noah should have killed those Mosi’s

Loove my not so little Soi Dog……..absolutely think bankers and politicians should get a big, massive taste of their own medicine…..admire all those fantastically clever bloggers who blog about all these hints and tips on how to be??????? ..so wish I was tall and slim and willowy with legs to die for and would I work it..hell yehhhhh..if you got it flaunt it….

Love how I have been welcomed into the blogging and writing worlds and without the help and encouragement and the listening to my dreams of certain friends ” you rock ” I would be doing neither and thank you for introducing me to Kow Soi.SAM_6957..great dish..best Thai food ever……

Sad that some never comment except to ” nicely” critique…..and I wish they would for once say…just say…I liked  that!

I really do not like jellied eels…….would really love to be able to step back to a time of my choosing just for a day …would not want to go forward in time too scary….

Well that’s a little insight into me and for the record have always been blonde..naturally hence the name blondieaka…..my real moniker is Carol or Caz so feel free to call me that…..

Well just back from the beach…Saang Chai had a lovely romp and dug a few holes wasn’t sure about the water when the waves started coming back at him…ha ha.. and did the heavens open  or did they open so it was quick stop the truck and put said mutt in the back in the dry as the heavens just opened as they do here..but that’s for Saang Chai to relate to you on Monday…until next time we are curry cooking at the moment well one’s son is and I am supervising  …ha ha…don’t tell him that…

Chat soon…love you all …laugh a lot and be happy….:)

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine!

Well so far all’s well on the sunshine front but another severe weather warning has been posted!

No small boats to go out..means no fresh squid for salad but hey ho I can live with that, we have had enough drownings this season because people don’t heed the warnings  or the Red Flags…… does a red flag not mean the same in any language on a beach?  or they presumably think they are strong enough swimmers…some will never learn will they? So I can forgo my squid as long as everyone is safe.

Saang Chai is settling in well he is finding plenty to chew but I will let him relay that in his own blog on Monday folks. If you haven’t read his very first blog( I am told ) it’s very funny then drop by you won’t want to miss an episode.

OHHHH I can see some big clouds looming which means rain soon and more ants, I am over run with them got 3 big ant nestsSAM_7032 in my garden I think they like it here, 2 termite ones, this weather is certainly making them want to nest build and make the grass grow…. Methinks it’s time to call a man who can!

Wow sunshine again…….SAM_7041Here I am sitting in my office looking out , one minute it’s sunny and the next we have rain. So methinks best get to market before the heavens open because I’m sure they will..it’s Thai Green Curry  tonight if you would like the recipe let me know…I will be posting it on my next recipe blog along side Brownies made with Coconut Flour they look yummy ( in the picture) will they be yummy ? Will let you know for sure.

Bye for now have a lovely weekend , have fun, stay safe if you are swimming and you see a red flag…Love you all….   🙂

 

Wow what a week!

Well where to start……the nest has eggs in it once again and mummy is busy keeping them warm she only leaves when she is hungry and the other day when the heavens opened bless her she sat, she was soaked but she sat on those little eggs.

You could also hear a pin drop…hark! shhhhhhhhh it’s so quiet.

Everyone is away visiting nannies,brothers and mum’s oh and the dreaded visa run…..

So what have I been doing?????

Oh it’s been a hive of activity, courtesy of my Indonesian friend she gave a cooking lesson on how to make Beef Rendang and it’s quite preparation heavy but so worth it and I left with not only …a sample and the recipe but leaves ( turmeric) for when I attempt mine and hints and tips galore..thank you Mamik.

And of course I will share with you.

I have a lovely Pork Loin brining away and it will be ready by Wednesday for my Majong buddies to sample.

Had a glut of Cucumbers so they are now sliced and packed into jars and nearly ready to eat.

SAM_6880………….I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short ones here) not long like in Uk . Peel and slice ( I sliced quite thickly) 1 Large Onion peeled and sliced, 3 cups vinegar, I cup water, 1/4- 1/2 cup sugar or spendida sweetener( I only used just under quarter cup and salt to season if required. Whisk together in jug.Put alternate slices of cucumber and onion in jar until full , pour in vinegar mix to top of jar making sure to cover completely. Screw on lid and refrigerate . Ready to eat in 2 days if you can resist we often can’t.

My lovely neighbour came bearing gifts of Mangoes so they have been duly pureed and in the freezer..would have been Ice Cream cos I came across a lovely recipe for mango ice cream with sea salt and chilli..yum! I was drooling..short lived.. when I read further down the said recipe I need an Ice Cream Machine and guess who doesn’t have one?

Well trawled the second-hand sites as a lot of people only live here a short while and then sell practically new goods before they move on…..and lo and behold I found one but didn’t want the freezer that went with it…or do I..more storage for my cooking……mmmmmm the jury’s out on that one…..

But I need a new camera more? Do I ? mmmmmm Ice cream plus freezer or Camera?

And of course I have been working on my novel and trying to master that pesky Scrivener..it will not beat me….. I think if I keep telling myself that often enough I will be a master at it before I can say BOO!

Oh and I was also sent a recipe by a dear Swiss friend for ” Suure Mocke ” , or Sauerbraten, marinated Beef a family recipe so I will try it and pass it on to you my friends…sounds good, the Beef is marinated for 5 days in the vino..yes 5 days folks..sound yum or  sound yummy???

So all in all it’s been a week of learning and experimenting for me I love it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings I am now off to see if I can locate my Curry Seedlings that some nice man has sent me …when tracking it said ” out for delivery” address not recognised, carded..now does that mean they left a card? if so where?  if address not recognised?…mmmmm no wonder the birds nest in my post box cos the postman sure does not use it grrrrrrrrrrr..as we say TIT ( This is Thailand) Wish me luck!

Enjoy until next time happy reading and have fun x

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

 

 

Well that’s a sweeping statement but true.

I am at a crossroads , I think, what to do?, where to go?, who with? when? why? shall I ? shan’t I ? will I? won’t I? the brain just whirls around and around in never-ending circles.

How many of us have agonised like this over our jobs, our kids, parents, holidays, cars, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, what to have for dinner? …well gotta eat!

I think it’s amazing that we ever get anything done given all of that.

Isn’t the human brain just  awesome ?

At last we have rain..yippee, surveying my garden this morning there are a few branches on the grass , oh yes and we had wind….the sun is showing it’s self albeit with a watery smile. It’s Songkram…Thai New Year…water fights galore..the shops full or not so full now of water pistols of varying colours and sizes..the fun will soon begin….

But not before I have had my morning cuppa.

I have been planning my way forward for the next year as in where I want my book to be..Finished would be good.

I plan to write a children’s cook book as my grandchildren love cooking even little Lily who is four  is a dab hand with the Mortar and Pestle and she can do mushrooms albeit they are different shapes and sizes ha ha. Aston at 12 a bit more proficient so I’m thinking lots of pics and simple recipes for kids to do.

And improve my blog as in change a few things..ha ha should be fun ‘cos the mind knows what I want to do..It’s the doing..so lots of U-Tube Tutorials later it will…I’m being positive here..take shape so that’s some of my plans..oh and finish my book!.

I have been experimenting making my own Smoothies, and I love it…the blender is just about working I needed a new rubber washr it was pouring out the bottom…. so who looked with the lid off.?????… No folks No pictures..just use your imagination …you are writers after all

Still researching the Sour Dough …… but we have Hot Cross Buns ..recipe on  the previous post….

And trying  different foods that is one thing I love about living here it is a melting pot of different cultures and recipes..yum..yesterday I had Bobotie it was great…. it is the National Dish of South Africa and very good.

My recipe for you this week is a simple Chicken and Mushroom Pate ( one of my grandsons favorites) and so quick to make.

Ingredients:

450gm/11b Chicken Livers.

4 Chestnut Mushrooms finely chopped.

220gm/8oz Butter.

2/3 cloves garlic finely chopped.

2/3 shallots finely chopped or small brown onion.

1 tblsn Brandy.

1tsp Mustard Powder.

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

1 bay leaf and 3 cranberries for decoration.

Method

Melt 4oz of butter in pan add chopped onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add mushrooms about half way through cooking.

Add garlic and chicken Livers and fry until cooked through.

Add Brandy..my hands wobbled at this stage and I deviated slightly from said recipe..I put 2 spoons in..ha ha.

Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place Liver mix and 2oz of remaining butter in food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and season again with salt and freshly ground pepper.

SAM_6863

Put in Ramekin or small dish, decorate with bay leaf and 3 cranberries ( I used small lime leaves as had no fresh bay leaves.

Chill and serve and enjoy!

Well that’s all for now until next time I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. x